Deck Boats: Generous Boats That Are Ready for Your Crowd

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What combines the athletic and exhilarating ride of a bowrider or center console, with the party-potential of a pontoon boat? A deck boat of course! These do-it-all vessels are perfect for the boater who wants a boat for every occasion. Unlike most boats, which lock their owners into a single kind of lifestyle, the best deck boats are fun-enhancers that are just as versatile as you! That’s why they’re some of our favorite vessels on the market.

If you want a boat that’s perfect for fishing, watersports, entertaining, and more, you've got to check out a deck boat. Here are some of the reasons why they’re our top choice for the most popular activities out on the water.

Fishing Deck Boats

If you’re trying to catch dinner, or catch a buzz, there’s no better boat than a fishing deck boat. The wide bow allows for maximum interior space, which means there’s plenty of room for rods, reels, live wells, coolers, and of course, friends.

Since many deck boats have plenty of flat surfaces, they’re ideal for tending a rod and reel. There aren’t too many upright structures to get hung up on, so you can focus on landing the perfect fish. Even better, fishing deck boats often have removable flooring so you don’t have to worry about ruining expensive carpet or decking. That low-fuss interior means that you have the perfect all-around boat for sport fishing.

Water Sports

Whether you love water skiing or wakeboarding, you know that having a breathtaking experience out on the water requires a lot of gear. All that supplies can make for an uncomfortable ride for your guests. Luckily, the massive interior deck space afforded by a deck boat makes it perfect for carrying your favorite water sports equipment.

The ample seating in most deck boats allows for plenty of guests on board, so the driver can focus on piloting the boat safely, while others on board can make sure to watch for the athlete in the water. Having a good spotter in position is one of the hardest parts of having a good water sports experience. Luckily, with a deck boat, you don’t have to worry about losing sight of a surfer or wakeboarder.

Some deck boat manufacturers are seeing that their boats are so well-loved by water sports enthusiasts that they’re designing specific boats for athletic adventures. For example, the Starcraft SCX 231 Surf has ballast tanks for creating a perfect surfable wake, and a forward drive for ultimate safety of everyone behind the boat.

Deck Boats For Families

Deck boats these days aren’t just developing features best for surfers and anglers. These are some of the same attributes that make them perfect for the whole family. For example, a forward drive keeps the propeller away from the transom (essential for safety when swimming near the boat or jumping off the back) and plenty of on-deck space is essential for packing everything you need for a great day on the water.

Even small families need plenty of room for coolers, snacks, water toys, and floaties. If you have all of this cluttering the deck, you can cause a tripping hazard. Luckily, deck boats have plenty of space on deck and under the seats for you to make sure your essentials stay put when underway. Even better, they have dozens of safety features, like grab handles, that makes sure everyone feels comfortable and secure on board, whether they’re enjoying a smooth ride behind the captain, or an exhilarating adventure up front.

However, the best part about deck boats, despite their versatility, is that there’s truly a vessel for every budget. Whether you’re looking for a simple boat for bringing your buddies fishing, or an ultra-luxurious package, there’s something in this segment for you.

Best Deck Boat Brands


With over 45 years of experience making deck boats and center consoles, Hurricane boats is a leader in this market. Their FunDeck line stands out as a unique option which combines the space-maximizing features of a pontoon boat, with the athletic ride of a deck boat. The company also has the exhilarating SportDeck line, which is perfect for people who want to go fast, whether it’s on a boat, or behind it!


Family-owned since 1903, StarCraft Marine is one of the oldest boat companies around. That heritage helps them pioneer and develop well-performing boats with fantastic features. This company’s deck boats range in length from 17 to 23 feet, which makes them perfect for towing. They even have a unique center-console deck boat which is perfect for someone looking for fishing boat styling with deck boat practicality.

StarCraft Deck Boats More


With eight different deck boat models ranging from 15 feet to 26 feet, Bayliner has plenty of vessels to fit your budget. The 15 foot Element M15 is an ultra-affordable option that’s perfect for new boaters looking to get on the water. That compact package has space for up to five passengers, making it perfect for families who want to make memories.

Bayliner Deck Boats More

Sea Ray

When you’re looking at a luxury retailer like Sea Ray, you know you’re going to get an excellent boat. This company’s SDX series of deck boats and bowriders comes with ultra-fine finishes that makes you feel like you’re on your own private island. The SDX 290 even features a step-down head, so you can truly spend all day at sea in comfort.

Now that you know a thing or two, we bet you can’t wait to find the best deck boat for you. Luckily, we have plenty in stock right now at However, you don’t want to wait, these boats are always popular, and they sell fast. Take a look and fall in love with your next boat today!

FAQ About Deck Boats

How many people do deck boats seat?

Deck boats can comfortably seat more people than a standard vessel of similar size. However, how many people a specific boat can handle depends on its length. For example, the Bayliner M15 can seat five people. Meanwhile, the Sea Ray SDX 290 is yacht certified, which means it can seat an unlimited amount of people (though it has seating for about 17.) Each boat is mandated by the coast guard to have documentation and signage (usually in the form of stickers) that shows how many people it can safely hold. Keep an eye out for that documentation and make sure to never exceed that capacity, so everyone has a safe and fun day on the water.

How well do deck boats handle rough water? (Are they sea-worthy?)

How well a deck boat handles rough water is based on the shape of its hull. Some deck boats, like Sea Rays, have a V-shaped hull. These vessels effectively cut through waves, which means they can handle rough water as easily as a center console or bow rider. Meanwhile, flat-bottomed deck boats, like some Hurricane boats (specifically the FunDeck) may not handle rough waters as well. Flat-bottom boats tend to slap waves as they go over them, making for a rough ride. Overall, how a boat handles in rough seas is dependent on the design of the vessel, and the experience of the captain. If you’re uncomfortable riding in rough seas, make sure to check the weather before heading out, and always return to the dock or marina before the weather turns.